Garcia, Gregorio N. (1814–unknown)

By: Teresa Palomo Acosta

Type: Biography

Published: September 1, 1995

Updated: October 27, 2020

Gregorio N. García, the third of five Texas Mexicans elected to the state legislature in nineteenth-century Texas, was born in Texas in 1814, probably in the El Paso area. Details about his life are sketchy but a few things are known. His wife was named Santos and he had six children. García was also a farmer, whose real and personal estate was valued at some $5,000 before his election to the legislature. García represented the Seventy-seventh District in the Eleventh Legislature, which convened in 1866. He served only one term. He won his seat the same year he was elected as a county commissioner in El Paso County, in an election in which machine politics staked on the "Mexican vote" resulted in a Republican victory and the ascent of five Texas Mexicans to local office. Little is known about García's accomplishments as a legislator. The House Journal for the Eleventh Legislature notes that he served on three committees: Public Lands, Indian Affairs, and Internal Improvements. The House Journal also records that he voted in favor of a resolution to have 1,000 copies of the Governor's message printed in German and Spanish. Only brief accounts of the work of the committees on which he served are available. They suggest that García was probably involved in the discussions to sell lands north of the Red River to the federal government for permanent settlement by Indians. He also participated in deliberations by the Indian Affairs Committee to provide public money to a group of Whites for their return home after their release from Indian captivity. After his service in the state legislature, García returned to El Paso, where, as a county judge, he became involved in the politics and violence surrounding the famous Salt War of San Elizario in 1877. According to one account, he heard charges against José María Juárez and Macedonio Gándara of San Elizario, both of whom had declared their intention to continue to harvest the salt even though Charles H. Howard, who had claimed the salt beds for himself, insisted that Mexicans would have to pay a tax to use it. García, along with Howard, was arrested by locals angered over the salt beds dispute. He was apparently not harmed, although he had arrested Juárez for refusing to abide by Howard's position on the salt beds. No death date for García was available.

William Wallace Mills, Forty Years at El Paso (El Paso?, 1901; 2d ed., El Paso: Hertzog, 1962). C. L. Sonnichsen, The El Paso Salt War (El Paso: Hertzog, 1961).

  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Politics and Government

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Garcia, Gregorio N.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995
October 27, 2020

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